Odds & ends vegan ramen

We’ve cooked a few variations on this simple dish, which is a great one for using whatever is in season from the garden. It’s also a great use of vegetable broth/stock made from frozen veggie scraps.

The basic flavourings are adapted from the Happy Pear’s ‘Japanese Umami Miso Ramen’: onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, paprika, miso, maple and tamari.

Ingredients (serves 2)

100g noodles of choice

3 spring onions / 1 small onion

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 fresh chilli of choice

1/2 thumb-sized piece of ginger

c. 200g veg of choice cut into bite-sized pieces (for our latest effort we used carrot, courgette and spinach from the garden; other veg that works includes: peppers, mushroom, green beans, peas, edamame beans, mange tout, thinly sliced sweet potato or butternut squash, kale, chard, broccoli…)

500ml of veg stock/broth

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1/2 lemon or lime juice

2 tsp miso (we use white miso)

2 tsp tamari

1 tsp maple

Garnish

It’s nice to get a different texture or two, and fresh garden flavours, into the garnish. Loads of different things work for this recipe.

Fresh coriander and/or parsley is a must. A few leaves of mint if you have them. Plus a final squeeze of lime over the top.

Seeds and nuts add crunch, we’re partial to toasted cashews and sesame.

You can add some finely chopped spring onion or chives, thinly sliced red chilli, pickled ginger or garlic, or any other pickled veg you like.

It’s also nice to add protein if you can: edamame beans, crispy tofu, or an egg for non-vegans: fried, poached, boiled.

Method

Stock

You can use shop-bought stock or make your own. Obviously home-made broth is packed with nutrition that shop-bought stock may lack.

We’ve started saving our veggie scraps in a bag in the freezer to make home-made stock (e.g. carrot and parsnip tops and skins, onion and garlic ends, leek leaves, herb stalks etc).

It takes a couple of hours to make the stock. We put the contents of the full bag into a large pot and filled it with three-quarters the equivalent of water rather than covering with water; the veg will break down and should then be about level with the water, better not to use too much water as it’ll dilute the flavour.

Into that we added some extra flavouring: bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick and garlic salt. We also added some dried seaweed we happened to have.

We brought the broth to the boil and left it to simmer for a couple of hours. It’s good to taste it as you go and flavour it up as you see fit.

Our ramen recipe required just 500ml of stock, so we have plenty left over to use in the coming days.

The core veg for the dish are all from the garden: spinach, carrots, courgette – plus spring onions and parsley

Cooking

Have your hot stock, whether home-made or shop bought, at hand as you start the cooking of the dish.

The first thing is to cook your noodles: if they’re dried it should take a couple of minutes in boiling water. Then drain them and leave them aside. If they’re pre-cooked you can simply add them close to the end of the cooking process to heat in the cooking broth.

Fry your spring onion/onion, garlic, ginger and chilli together in a medium pan for a minute or two until starting to soften, then add your core veg of choice (in our case the carrot and courgette, followed later by spinach into the broth). Cook for another minute or two (longer if you prefer/need to cook certain veg longer). Add in the paprika and chilli for the final minute.

Add the stock, miso, tamari, maple and half the citrus and bring to the boil. Then reduce to simmer for three minutes and add the noodles to heat through.

Serve in bowls, squeeze over the last of the citrus and garnish with whatever you fancy – we used parsley, a fried egg, seed mix (sesame, linseed, sunflower and pumpkin) and a squeeze of sriracha.

Don’t forget to save your odds and ends to freeze for your next batch of stock

Spring onion, herb stalks, carrot tops, ginger skin and garlic ends all go into the freezer for the next batch of stock.

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